Trump staff desert ‘toxic’ White House
Staff are beginning to desert the White House in droves, it's been claimed, due to a "toxic" work environment fuelled by US President Donald Trump's refusal to concede the election.
Last week saw the resignation of White House communications director Alyssa Farah, one of the most high profile people to leave her post, amid a growing realisation among senior staff that it is now becoming inevitable that Joe Biden will take over on January 20.
Ms Farah said it had been "honour of a lifetime to serve in the Trump administration, a post she had held for the last three and a half years.
"I'm forever grateful to have had the opportunity to serve my country," she said in a resignation letter.
Ms Farah did not state what she would be moving on to and did not mention Mr Trump in her letter.
Despite that apparent snub, Mr Trump praised his former employee saying she was a "great person" who did a "fantastic job".
In the run up to Christmas it looks increasingly like Ms Farah won't be the last to make a dash from the White House, which houses the President's office.
Around 4000 people are employed in the office and most are political appointees.
As presidents hand over from one to another it's not unusual for staff to look for alternative roles as new administration bring in their own employees.
However, President Trump's refusal to concede the election left staff in limbo unsure of whether to move on.
That was compounded by a report that the personnel director of the President's Office, John McEntee, who warned any staff that looked for a job while Mr Trump contested the election would be fired.
However, that threat is increasingly seen as a hollow one as the states certify the election results and the Trump team's legal efforts fall over.
Morale has plunged among White House staff, many of who don't want to be seen disobeying orders but also don't want to be caught without a job come inauguration day. Others are simply "disgusted" with the manner in which Mr Trump is dragging out the handover, reported CNN.
"I think people are moving on because they have families or livelihoods to support," an official told the new channel.
"That and the place is becoming more toxic by the day … people turning on each other, trying to settle scores while they can."
Focusing minds among staff is what roles will be available in the party after Joe Biden moves in.
The Republicans gained a number of seats in the House of Representatives but only one Senate seat. All these new politicians will need staff, but far fewer than the number who will be turfed out of the White House leading to a quiet, but urgent, jostling for roles in the background.
"Some are moving on," a White House Adviser told CNN "It's time."
On Friday, another avenue for Mr Trump to maintain the presidency was shut off when a court in the state of Nevada threw out a lawsuit challenging the result which saw Mr Biden declared the victor.
The US President and his allies have now lost at least 30 post-election lawsuits. By some counts the number is as high as 41-1 losses.
Judge James Russell was scathing of the unprecedented request to either block certification of the state's election results or award the electoral college votes to Mr Trump.
He stated there had been no evidence presented to support the campaign's claims of voter fraud
"Contestants did not prove under any standard of proof that any illegal votes were cast and counted, or legal votes were not counted at all, for any other improper or illegal reason, nor in an amount equal to or greater than 33,596, or otherwise in an amount sufficient to raise reasonable doubt as to the outcome of the election," Judge Russell wrote.
"Reasonable doubt is one based on reason, not mere possibility."
Originally published as Trump staff desert 'toxic' White House